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The Overlooked Costs of the Permanent War Economy: A Market Process Approach


Christopher J. Coyne


George Mason University - Department of Economics

Thomas K. Duncan


George Mason University

July 26, 2012

The Review of Austrian Economics, Forthcoming
GMU Working Paper in Economics No. 12-51

Abstract:     
How does the permanent war economy interact, and subsume, the private, non-military economy? Can the two remain at a distance while sharing resource pools? This paper argues that they cannot. Once the U.S. embarked upon the path of permanent war, starting with World War II, the result was a permanent war economy. The permanent war economy continuously draws resources into the military sector at the expense of the private economy, even in times of peace. We explore the overlooked costs of this process. The permanent war economy does not just transfer resources from the private economy, but also distorts and undermines the market process which is ultimately responsible for improvements in standards of living.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 33

Keywords: War Economy, National Defense, Economic Calculation, Interventionism

JEL Classification: B53, H00, H56, P50

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Date posted: July 28, 2012 ; Last revised: October 1, 2012

Suggested Citation

Coyne, Christopher J. and Duncan, Thomas K., The Overlooked Costs of the Permanent War Economy: A Market Process Approach (July 26, 2012). The Review of Austrian Economics, Forthcoming; GMU Working Paper in Economics No. 12-51. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2118284 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2118284

Contact Information

Christopher J. Coyne (Contact Author)
George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )
4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States
Thomas K. Duncan
George Mason University ( email )
4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States
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